When a blogger asks a Prime Minister a question at a summit has something interesting happened?


It’s a simple question, I’m trying to figure out if it has a simple answer. One of my fellow g20voice bloggers Richard Murphy knows his stuff and consciously uses his blog to campaign for reform of Tax Havens. Is it interesting or important that a blogger like Richard gets to ask questions at a summit like G20. Has anything changed?


  1. ilicco elia says:

    In a word YES. Getting questions to leaders is always important, and giving ordinary folk the opportunity to ask questions is extremely important.

    However, it doesn’t necessarily matter that it happened at a summit, just so long as the questions are asked, and answered.

    It should be continual … not limited to summits

  2. bounder says:

    Hmm, maybe, maybe not – the mechanisms of access haven’t changed so much — people were invited to come, and there was a press conference.

  3. Jon Hickman says:

    Jon B’s right about the access issue, and we have to be careful about making an automatic link from “blogger” to “ordinary folk”.

    In this case the blogger is a well resourced, well networked, highly educated (independent) media professional. And he’s asking a question that is of the mainstream news agenda.

    In this context a question from the ordinary folk, and from the margins of the news and political agenda, would be a working class Guernseyman (yes, they exist), asking what support Britain might offer the Channel Islands in return for reform of their tax status.

  4. Jon Hickman says:

    Sorry meant to declare an interest: I use Guernsey as an example because I’m from there. Insert your own offshore finance industry of choice, it’ll still work.

  5. Carl Timms says:

    To back up Jon Hickman’s point above, as a former resident of Guernsey myself and with many friends and family all involved in the significant banking industry based over there, I’d love to know what Richard Murphy would suggest as a solution to the large scale unemployment and financial devastation that would happen to the communities where offshore banking is a day to day concern? He can go and campaign all he likes but he needs to realise there’s more than just people’s tax money involved here, this is a question of entire livelihoods at risk.

  6. rowan davies says:

    Hi – Rowan here, the mumsnet blogger.

    Look, I was the first blogger to ask a question at an international summit. I’d asked two, in fact, before Richard was called on at the Brown conference.

    I’m a bit annoyed at this mistaken impression that’s being rapidly created and disseminated. I’d be really grateful if you could correct your headers.

    Ta. Hope you had a good journey back yesterday!

    Rowan x

  7. Nick Booth says:

    Good point Rowan. Am I right that your questions were earlier in the day during conversations with Ed Milliband and Douglas Alexander?

    I’m not sure what you mean by headers – the headline is pretty specific (although I have just changed a typo): “When a blogger asks a Prime Minister a question at a summit has something interesting happened?”

    Other than that the point you make acts as a corrective.

    Great journey thanks and really interesting to meet you. Talking to you got me thinking which will hopefully turn into a considered piece for the blog. I hope your boys were suitably impressed with everything you’d done.

  8. rowan davies says:

    Sorry Nick, only just seen this and I appreciate that the conversation has probably moved on! Yes, that’s right about the earlier questions. Did you write the piece?

    It was great to meet you too. The boys were, of course, completely unmoved.

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